Corum Watches – Eye-Catching Beauty
When you think of Swiss watchmakers, you usually think of high quality and precision, and rightly so. Perhaps you also think of companies that date to the nineteenth century, as those quality builds usually stem from a long history of manufacturing.
That’s where Corum watches offer a bit of a surprise. Yes, they’re made in Switzerland, and yes, they offer the incredible build quality and precision that you’d expect from fine Swiss craftsmanship. The surprise comes when you discover that Corum watches haven’t been around that long. In fact, the company was founded in 1955, which is quite recent as Swiss watchmaking goes.
They may be relative newcomers to the industry, but they’ve caught on quickly, and they’re distinguished themselves by offering amazing and creative styling and combining it with the great quality that buyers expect in a luxury wristwatch. All in all, it’s a great combination and the brand is definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for an upscale timepiece.
Read on for the full Corum watches review.
Styling and Features
Care and Maintenance
Where to Buy
Corum Watches Build Quality
Build quality is exceptional; they use stainless steel, titanium, and gold for their cases, and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal to protect the face. Water resistance varies by model, but we’ve seen models that offer protection at up to 100 meters.
They offer models with screw-down crowns and they use Swiss-made mechanical movements. These are rugged, well-built wristwatches that should run for many years with proper care.
You’ll find Swiss-made automatic and mechanical movements, and they’re quite accurate and reliable. The make a few models with multiple complications, so if you want Corum watches with a tourbillon, for example, they can accommodate you. A number of their models are transparent to some degree, allowing you to actually see the moving parts in action.
For a relatively new company, you’ll find that Corum watches offer a number of innovative features. Perhaps their best-known innovation is the gold coin watch, which uses an actual gold coin for the face. First introduced in 1955, this model is still in production today.
As they primarily use U.S. $20 gold pieces, which haven’t been issued since the early 1930s, they’re rather scarce and certain to increase in value over time. You’ll also find elaborate mechanical movements and complications.
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You’ll find the styling to be all over the map. If you want traditional looks, their vintage Charge d’Affaires has a timeless, mid-1950s look to it that will be at home in the boardroom or out for an elegant evening.
If you like diamonds, gold and lots of bling, you’ll find many models that offer those features. Fans of complications, dials, bells and whistles, or a tourbillon won’t be disappointed, as their product line includes lots of such models. Their Bridge series includes numerous transparent models that allow you to see all the way through the timepiece to your wrist, as both the face and the back are transparent.
They offer lots of non-round styles, too, so if you like a multisided watch, or a square or a rectangle or something that isn’t quite any of those things, they have those, too. All of their displays are analog, as these are watches with mechanical movements.
Watches are often available in limited editions, too, so if you want something that’s rare and not likely to be seen on anyone else’s wrist, you’ll be pleased to see the lineup. Finally, they have lots of color in their product line for those who tire of the basic black, gold, and white that often makes up some companies’ entire product line. This brand can offer something for everyone.
As these are handcrafted, precision mechanical timepieces, these watches do require occasional maintenance. The company recommends that you return your watch to them every 3-5 years for servicing. They will disassemble the watch, examine the movement for worn parts and replace those that require it. They’ll clean and lubricate the mechanism and reassemble it. Then they’ll test it for accuracy and water resistance.
In addition, the company recommends that you have your wristwatch inspected every two years to ensure that the timepiece remains water resistant. Aside from these considerations, you should store your watch in a cool, dry place and preferably in a watch winder in order to keep it running smoothly and accurately.
If you use it in or around salt water, you should rinse it in tap water afterwards and dry it carefully. With proper care, your watch should run for decades.
The warranty is for two years from the date of purchase against defects in materials and craftsmanship. This is the industry average, and most luxury watchmakers offer a warranty of similar duration. Genuine defects are quite rare, as these pieces are carefully and thoroughly tested at the factory prior to shipping.
We’ll get to the point: these watches are expensive, as you might well expect. Retail prices start at about $4000 and we’ve seen models priced up to about $250,000.
Many models are available in the $6000-$20,000 range. Limited edition models and the famous gold coin watch will be priced towards the higher end of the range, of course. Collectors like the brand, and older models and limited editions tend to bring premium prices on the secondary market.
We think there’s good appreciation potential, but we’re not suggesting that you buy them as an investment. Still, if it turns out to be worth more later, then that’s an added benefit of having bought it.
Like many luxury watchmakers, the company intentionally controls both distribution and pricing in order to keep demand ahead of supply and to avoid giving the impression that their product is either common or ordinary.
As such, you can “officially” buy them only at authorized dealers, which are usually high end or luxury jewelry stores located in major cities. Unofficially, it is possible to buy them at a discount online, as a few retailers do carry the brand and often sell them for less than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
The company has many models, so it’s unlikely that any one retailer is going to stock everything at one time, and distribution of limited edition models can be a bit spotty.
Corum Watches Summary
We’re big fans of Corum watches. They’re well designed, with interesting and sometimes truly crazy designs. They’re not afraid to think outside the box when it comes to looks and they’re generous with their use of gold and diamonds, especially in women’s models.
There’s lots of color and lots of mechanical complications, and the price range is broad enough to make them appealing to a wide range of consumers. They’re well made and attractive. All in all, you’ll find Corum watches well worth investigating if you’re thinking about buying a luxury watch.